About Me

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San Jose, California, United States
Some paintings far surpass my expectations and some are scary awful, but it's always fun.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Irish Doors

I'm nearing the end of the alphabet for my painting class assignments. These 2 are "Killarney Barn Door" (to replace a disastrous leaf print piece the instructor wanted us to try) and "Ulster Manor House Door." Both are small-7" x 10". They were good practice, and I'm happy with the way they turned out. I only have 5 paintings to go and 10 days to get them completed-all will likely be small, as I don't have enough time to tackle anything major.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I did a painting these petunias last week, intending them to look loose and carefree. They didn't, of course, so I tried again. While this rendition is less structured than the first, it still isn't where I had envisioned it going. I'll try it again next month-I'm thinking about how to get started so I don't paint myself in to the same proverbial corner from the get-go. Meanwhile, I'm finishing up the work for my class at Mission and preparing for our May trip-volcano permitting! I have a new art backpack and ordered a new block and a couple of tubes of paint in colors I thought would be helpful in capturing the Dutch landscape. Someone at a SCVWS paint site said that Davy's gray is really good for overcast skies-which we're likely to see in Belgium and the Netherlands. I'm studying Van Ruysdael's and Cuyp's landscapes to get prepared. This painting is 10" x 14".

Friday, April 16, 2010

Coyote Bait & Tackle 2

I was so disappointed with the tortured brushwork on my first painting of this quirky building that I decided to give it another try. This one is lighter, but I think it worked out much better. I made much use of a new color that Laurie Barna, a fellow SCVWS member, recommended to me-Indanthrene Blue. It can go from a deep, dark blue to the palest tint. The picture here is somewhat lighter than the actual painting-I scanned it-will try a photo later to see if I can get a better rendition. Size is 10" x 14"

Friday, April 9, 2010

N- "Not a Place I Would Hang Out!"

David and I went out for a drive one day and we passed the Coyote Bait Shop. It looks as though parts of the building were added at random. There are elements of this painting that worked out really well-the trees and the bait machine at the far right-but I seriously overworked the blue of the building and used more mask than I would have liked, so I've begun doing this one again.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Q is for Quilt

I belong to a philanthropic women's organization, PEO, which promotes and funds womens education. Our chapter prints an annual yearbook that is a roster, meeting schedule and reference for members. For the 4th year in a row, I was asked to paint a picture for the cover. The caveat is that it needs to include all or some of the following-daisies, stars, and the colors green, white and gold. The little red rectangles are my way of being a rebel! While it isn't fine art, I think the Sisters in our chapter will be happy with this year's cover.

P is for "Plein Air"

Today I went to Mission Santa Clara on the campus of SC University with the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's weekly plein air group. There were only 4 of us, likely due to the cold morning-it only went up to the upper 50s-maybe 60 by noon. Quite frigid by Bay Area standards! I ordered a couple of sets of Pitt Pens from Jerry's and they arrived last night. I bought the Terra, Landscape, and Grayscale sets. I took them out today for the first time and feel pretty good about my initial effort. I used no pencil at all-just began to draw in a small 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" sketchbook. There's no purple or violet in the sets I got, so the wisteria (which is just beautiful) is blue, instead! Afterward, I did a watercolor of the same scene. i kept it loose, but probably could have spent another half hour or so on it-I just got too cold! It's 12" x 16"

M-"My son Andy takes beautiful nature photos!"

Andy enjoys hiking and biking and taking pictures. He posts many of his pictures on his blog www.rusticfences.blogspot.com Check them out-I think you'll be impressed!
I interpreted one of his photographs in watercolor. As so often happens, I overworked parts of it, but overall, I'm happy with the results. I think I'll try it again-maybe much larger, and use a large brush, which might help me to keep it fresh. After brushing on a light wash of raw sienna in the area of the fence posts, I masked them, then went back in and painted them at the end. The size is 10" x 14".